In what looks like a great insight into what the culture is like inside Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar’s $3 billion tech startup Atlassian, there’s a painfully detailed explanation on the company’s blog explaining why the comments feature will be turned off.
Nick Doherty, Atlassian Information Experience team manager broke the news that users would no longer be able to leave comments on the site as it aims to improve navigation and content.
He explained the decision to shut down comments wasn’t taken lightly as Atlassian appreciates “the chance to speak directly with customers and fielding questions and digging into specific use cases is a great way to learn the ropes of a product.”
In a great ironic twist, at the time of publishing, there were 8 comments on the blog post from users discussing what they thought of the decision.
Doherty said the job of moderating comments just wasn’t scalable.
“Committing to moderating page comments creates two huge problems: an ever-increasing amount of comments to moderate and, as a result, proportional overhead on the team. For a company of our size, it just doesn’t scale,” he said.
After appointing Erik Bardman as its CFO earlier this year, there has been plenty of speculation the company is gearing up to float in the US.
Readying a company for listing and establishing an internal environment where it can continue to scale means lots of little decisions across multiple departments which align the business.
Doherty said only about 20% of comments left on the site relate to the specific content on the page and this was a sign the company needed to establish a more streamlined way of managing requests for support or general product inquiries.
He also said the low rate of response was a bad user experience.
“We need to promote better wayfinding from the documentation to the other, more suitable Atlassian channels, and use our limited time in the most efficient way possible,” he said. “We’ll still listen to and help our customers, we’re just shifting the arena.”
The team classed a trial of a new comments channel which ran for nearly a year and deemed it “successful”. A year!
Replacing comments will be a forum called Atlassian Answers.
“The IX team will throw its collective time and energy into our community channel, Atlassian Answers, with every writer dedicating time to fielding your questions,” he said.